Sunday, May 14, 2017

Early Reactions to the Latin Mass

I can't title this post "initial reactions to the Latin Mass" as I've attended it before. A couple of years back I attended one low Mass and one High Mass in St. Kevin's, Harrington Street. However, I've gone back for the last two weeks and I intend to make it a regular thing now, God willing.

These are my initial thoughts:

1) The single biggest advantage is that I can receive on the tongue, kneeling, without any fuss or difficulty. In pretty much every single Mass I've attended, Communion has been awkward-- or at least, I anticipate awkwardness. I've always received on the tongue. Twice the Host has been dropped. Even though I always aim to go to the priest rather than the extraordinary minister, I've occasionally had to resort to the extraordinary minister-- nearly always a lady. So trying to bow down low to receive just makes it more awkward.

For a while, I kneeled when it came to my turn to receive, feeling I should do this. But I always felt self-conscious about it, thinking it ostentatious, and eventually I stopped. I like that it's just the done thing at the Latin Mass.

2) I've greatly admired the supernaturalism and seriousness of the sermons-- although I'm not sure the claim that Lenin was a Freemason is accurate.

3) The absence of the sign of peace is wonderful. Of course! Doesn't everybody hate that?

4) The absence of liturgical abuses is a blessed relief. Liturgical abuses are what drove me to the Extraordinary Form. Priests interjecting their own words into the liturgy, "inclusive" language, priests leaving the altar at the sign of peace, applause during Mass, people receiving directly from a chalice left on the altar, children giving readings, altar boys without vestments, homilies which are of questionable orthodoxy or even downright heretical, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth...I couldn't take it anymore.... 

I'll still be attending daily Mass in the Ordinary Form, for instance the lunch-time Mass in UCD. But these abuses seem at their worse on a Sunday, anyway. Come to think of it, I rarely encounter abuses on weekdays.

5) Of course, the language and trappings of the Mass are majestic, although I haven't really become habituated to them yet, so it's all something of a blur.

6) I admire the reverence and seriousness of the congregation, with the Ordinary Form, so many people are late! Lateness at Mass has always perplexed me. Somehow, I'd assumed it wouldn't happen so much at the Latin Mass. Is it so hard to make it on time? I understand if a few people were a little late, but people filing in half-way through just baffles me.


  1. Séamus (Australia)May 14, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    There's plenty of late-coming at St Anne's also. Being a small church it's particularly annoying,as people are squeezing in the back seats, often with kids, whilst Mass is in progress. To be fair, Traditional Mass churches are taking in people from a wide area, not just peoples that live close by(and Perth is very spread out). And yet... there are some people who live in Mandurah, about 90kms away, officially Bunbury diocese but considered part of Perth's metropolis and they can be there very early.
    There can be extreme political views, more often with parishioners than priests so much. I take it the priest was preaching on the Fatima centenary? I agree it was a strange thing to say,I don't know what sermons there would usually be like, it's not something they'd say here( unless at the PiusX society perhaps).

    1. Yes, he was taking about Fatima. I wouldn't be in the least put out by extreme political views-- it would be a counterbalance to all the rampant leftism in the mainstream church.

  2. Certainly, priests are more likely (at St Anne's ) to bring politics into the sermon when it comes to abortion, same sex-marriage, euthanasia etc and asking people to vote about these issues first. And material is left in the church at election times about how politicians are know to vote on these things. No other church would get away with it probably. I'm actually not sure what the bishops would think about this.
    By the way, there was an addendum to the Alan Joyce -pie in the face saga
    "The Cheesecake Shop"franchise, where the original meringue was bought, apparently posted an online ad stating something like "Mr Joyce,we fear you didn't fully appreciate our well -made product,etc...". After boycott threats the business had to apologise. Now-it's hard to say how much of this was about gay marriage, BUT, earlier this year COOPERS of Adelaide,a family-owned beer maker also had to make a humiliating apology after an online ad they posted was perceived to be anti-same sex marriage. One can't help wondering: What if these business-owners called the others' bluff: Just how significant a boycott would there be?